The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Monday in Katsina went tough on smugglers of Textile materials and their accomplices, threatening to blacklist individuals, banks and corporate bodies found to be encouraging the practice in any way.
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele who made the above declaration Monday during the official flag off of the distribution of seeds and other inputs to cotton farmers in Katsina state for the 2019 planting season, under the auspices of the National Cotton Association of Nigeria, further lamented the country’s annual loss of more than $2.2 billion or over N790 billion to the smuggling of textile goods and called on stakeholders to work at reversing the trend.
He described the launch as representing a milestone event being part of the measures bank along with other stakeholders including the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), have embarked upon in order to revive Nigeria’s Cotton, Textiles and Garments Sector.
He said “I believed that the Central Bank ought to play a more important role in supporting Nigeria’s economic development, given the constraints faced by rural farmers, SMES and Manufacturing companies. More importantly, we believe that CBN’s intervention which is aimed at import substitution will help in conserving scarce foreign exchange for Nigeria”.
He maintained that President Muhammadu Buhari placed considerable emphasis on addressing impediments to the growth of Nigeria’s Agricultural and manufacturing sectors, as both sectors represent over 52% of Nigeria’s GDP.
Emefiele also announced that the Apex bank is gathering data about, and investigating the accounts of individuals and corporate bodies’ currently involved or encouraging smuggling and dumping of textile materials into the country.
He said the investigation would be extended to the 42 other items restricted from FOREX in Nigeria, and that names of individuals and companies found wanting would be publicized, and blacklisted.
He added that all the banks in the country would be barred from conducting any banking business with the companies, their owners and top management.
The Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari, in an address at the occasion noted that the state formerly produced about 65% of the total quantity of cotton produced in the country
He said “the decline of agricultural produce including cotton over the years in Katsina state has been a source of concern to this administration because the glorious days of cotton production had provided employment to our populace”
He said the state government will continue to provide the needed incentive to Agriculture including funding infrastructure and farming inputs.